BJP has received a shot in the arm in the state of Bihar with all three VIP MLAs switching over to the BJP. Which way is Bihar politics headed from here?
Some recent media reports have speculated that all may not be well between the BJP and JD (U) in Bihar. And in such circumstances, a major political incident has taken place with three VIP MLAs joining the BJP. Why is it significant? Let’s find out.
Three VIP MLAs join BJP
On Tuesday, Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) chief and Bihar Animal Husbandry and Fisheries minister Mukesh Sahani had said that the move to join the NDA in the run up to the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections was a mistake.
Only a day later, all three VIP MLAs- Raju Kumar Singh (Sahebganj), Misri Lal Yadav (Alinagar) and Swarna Singh (Gaura Bouram), met Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha and sought their merger with the BJP.
BJP becomes the single largest party in Bihar Assembly
With the latest move by three VIP MLAs, BJP has become the single largest party in Bihar.
BJP’s tally in the Bihar Assembly now stands at 77- 2 more than RJD’s 75. The development therefore gives the BJP a psychological boost and an edge over its coalition partner JD (U). In 2010 Assembly polls, BJP had won 91 seats but at that time it didn’t emerge as the single largest party. Therefore, it is a new era for BJP in Bihar, as the party seems to have surpassed all other political players in terms of popularity.
Add to it, the recent BJP victory in four states including the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. The party cadres must be already brimming with enthusiasm and this gives the BJP a chance to rejuvenate itself in the state of Bihar.
All is not well between the BJP and JD (U)
This move becomes all the more important because recent reports suggest how all may not be well between the BJP and the JD (U).
As per a report by The Print, a controversy was simmering between Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha of the BJP. Earlier this month, Kumar criticized Sinha for his “unconstitutional” conduct. Sinha, on the other hand, had asked the CM to not “demoralize the chair”.
Last year, differences had cropped up between the NDA partners over the Pegasus row. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had called for a probe into the “snoop gate” allegations. Then, there were also reports of the BJP state unit’s plan to start ‘Sahyog Karyakram‘ (Cooperation Programme) in a bid to rival CM Nitish Kumar’s ‘Janata Darbar‘ for redressal of common people’s grievances.
Finally, JD (U) national parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha had also said that Nitish Kumar was “prime minister (PM) material”. In reply, BJP Minister Samrat Choudhary had said that the Prime Minister’s post was not vacant for the next 10 years. He had also said that there was nothing stopping CM Nitish Kumar from becoming JD (U)’s PM face while for the BJP it would be Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
The recent remarks by leaders from both sides do not show that there is a lot of harmony in the alliance. In fact, signs of cracks in the NDA are visible. However, with VIP MLAs joining the BJP, it has a clear advantage in the state of Bihar.